It’s not about the F-Stop

Despite the lack of time for writing here more often (work, personal projects, changes in private life …), I still can read! 🙂

It's not about the F-Stop - Jay Maisel

It’s not about the F-Stop – Jay Maisel

The photographic “victim” this time was “It’s not about the F-Stop“, by the legendary Jay Maisel.

Jay Maisel is one of those photographers that you can hear talking forever. Each sentence is a lecture. There’s a great series of conversation between him and Scott Kelby (A Day with Jay Maisel, Another Day with Jay Maisel and A Week with Kay Maisel in Paris). Totally worth watching.

In this book, Jay follows the nice model I’ve seen before in “The Moment it Clicks“, by Joe McNally. One picture, one page about it. Jay tells the stories of his career, sometimes directly related by the image displayed, sometimes general advice exemplified in the picture. You can travel through his history, in no chronological order, from his first assignments, to his free photography. He explains what has called his attention to each of the shots. An inspirational process.

Surely worth reading more than once!

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Yearly Projects???

Happy new year you all!!

New year always brings the “should I enroll one of those 365/52 projects?”.

365, 90, 52 ... Yearly Projects

365, 90, 52 … Yearly Projects

A 365 project definitively is not an option. I rather not shoot, than force myself to take a bad picture per day. But a 52 project (one per week) would be a possibility.

Here comes a mea culpa. Last year I wanted to do it, even found a nice list of themes for each week suggested by Dale Foshe, but ended up not being able to start.

This year I was on the “I’m gonna use that list this year” mood, when Dale Foshe made a another list for a 52 project, even a bit more elaborate. Even better, a new list to work with! First week came, theme was “Tell a story with the rule of thirds”. In the road, in the beginning of the week, I had this idea of using the road lanes as rule of thirds and the road as a story, but couldn’t shoot it since we had rain and then snow. Getting home, on a sunny day I went to a road passage to shoot my idea and all I could see was a road … a boring road. Maybe the idea was good, but not like this. Then I couldn’t work on that anymore.

Still, the mind was “I’ll make theme’s 1 and 2, and get back on track”. Then ramp up of work got in the way and I couldn’t make any of the two shots. That was a bit disappointing.

The other day I was reading a post from Torsten Kathke, where the topic was exactly how a year long project (daily or weekly) is a big thing and when you give up in the middle of it, you feel really let down … the suggestion is a three months project, that if you succeed, you can always make another one and so on. But the main point raised in this article is about how much is your life organized to allow you to shoot a precise theme each week, and how much pressure is to go out and shoot a precise theme! That got me thinking! I love going out and shooting, but I have no preconceived topic, I have no requirements and I have no routine. I don’t go shooting on specific days of the week, or even every week. I carry my camera around when I’m going out. So, my life has no photographic structure.

Maybe the way to get things a bit more interesting is to actually have a routine, a structure, like “on Sundays I go out to shoot”. Easier said than done, but worth the shot.

And you? What’s the plan for 2017?

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Happy Holidays!!!

Yet! There are the holidays again! A busy year full of projects, unfortunately not related to photography (as you can see, the same image as last year … 🙂 ).

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year (Photo: Cris da Rocha)

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year (Photo: Cris da Rocha)

The plan for 2017 is to actively go back to photography! Let’s see how it starts!!

Merry Christmas and Happy new year!!!!

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Chasing the fall colors

It’s been a while!!! Personal projects, unfortunately not directly related to photography, really sucked me away! Time, energy, air … my camera already wants to divorce!! 🙂

Neuschwanstein - Map

The autumn is a great time to shoot! This year we decided to go a bit out of the usual places and actually go somewhere else!! Then comes the part where I could have done better!!!

First weekend we decided to go to the Neuschwanstein palace! The one that in principle inspired Disney to do his mark. You can monitor the region via webcams, so you don’t get to go there and find everything green or already gone! That much I did!!! Colors were good, not at it’s real peak, we had the time for a family trip, it all seemed good and I confess I was so “this is a great weekend” that I even forgot to check the weather forecast … “rookie” mistake!

It’s a two hours drive from here, but you drive towards the Alps, so the weather is not the same as in Munich. We left in a sunny day (therefore no weather forecast check) and 30 minutes before arriving we were in quite a doll weather …

Arriving there we found out that what Google Maps consider a drivable road, it’s not. So we parked the car in the city and, despite the light shower, decided to go up to the Marienbrücke. This is a nice classic bridge, where I could shoot the palace with the colors. We’ve got the bus up there, which I don’t recommend, unless you like a speeding bus driving in a very narrow curvy road. It turns out to be unnecessary, since you can quickly walk from the palace there, as we found out later. Nice shots with colors and dramatic clouds. Even though we’ve been to the palace a number of times, we never spotted the path that goes to the bridge, but from the bridge you can easily find your way to the palace.

Luckily the rain gave us a small break while over the bridge and a nice bigger break while we walked to the palace. Well, that’s the nice part, because when you had rain and the sun suddenly breaks through the clouds, you usually get a rainbow, and it could not have been better, in the next turn you could see the palace with a rainbow on top!!!

Still didn’t have time to post-process the images due to the time sucking project, but this will come soon!!!!

Summary: Autumn colors in the Neuschwanstein are awesome and you can monitor it with their webcams; you can walk up the palace and then walk to the bridge and get the same way back, no need for the bus; check the weather forecast, anyway 🙂

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RIP point-and-shoot cameras

Coming back from vacations and a couple of further appointments!!

Nice shots, thought they were not the main purpose of the trip, I hope I find the time to work on them soon!

Sunset at Lake Garda (camera phone shot: Cris da Rocha)

Sunset at Lake Garda (Phone camera shot: Cris da Rocha)

While traveling, as usual, one thing caught my attention, was the number of point-and-shoot cameras being used by the tourists. Basically I could count in the finger of ONE hand (including the one my son was using in the trip!!!). Everybody is either using the camera on their phones and tablets, though I haven’t seen that may tablets this time, or using dSLRs.

The number of point-and-shoot cameras have been dropping in the last years, I spoke about it frequently, but this time, definitively they are a dead market!! Apart from some more advanced models that allow you to manually control the parameters, some even shoot in raw, the only thing you get that is not in a phone is optical zoom capability. On the other hand, you have to carry yet another device with you, to take pretty much the same pictures. This situation tends to get even worse now with the latest phones coming with multiple lenses (like the iPhone 7 or the Huawei P9).

The other side of that story is the increase of dSLRs on the streets, specially the small entry level ones (unless is a Japanese group, then Canon 5D Mark III with L lenses are more common than phone cameras 🙂 ). Even more interesting is the fact that those entry level dSLRs are in the hands of young people, so a new generation that likes well done images, not the “let me post a selfie in Instagram”).

What was quite rare to see was Micro Four Thirds cameras. I would expect to see them more frequently, now that they are improving in quality and variety of brands and lens offer, but not really. At least not yet.

Bottom line, vacations are still, and more and more, a situation where you go out at the worst possible light and have loads of people taking pictures in front of you. Enjoy and have fun!!

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